Fish and Chips is without a doubt an iconic dish that represents the British, with a short history of 150 years, this dish has appeared everywhere. From the streets of Britain, to sunny Singapore, even appearing in various forms of literature like Oliver Twist and The Lord of the Rings. I love Fish and Chips, especially with a good dash of vinegar.
I must admit, I am a bit conflicted to post this recipe, complicated is not the word really, I’ve had my fare share of complicated recipes with multiple steps. The essence in this recipe is the ingredients, and that’s what really sets everything apart. Turbot fillets are difficult to come by in Singapore, I’ve tried a number of suppliers/fishmarkets and it’s either not carried, or seasonal and out of stock. I settled for the old favorite of cod instead, try to get the best cut your money can buy. you want to get the unctuous, fatty cuts that would be really moist and beautiful after deep frying. getting inferior cuts would result in a dry tasteless meal.
Another thing mentioned in Heston Blumenthal’s book is fish with high amounts of collagen, which would break down into gelatin and contribute to the moistness of the fish. Once such fish to recommend would be halibut, but halibut tends to have smaller flakes than fish like cod or turbot.
I left out making the chips, simply because I was more excited about the fish, and the chips are harder to obtain in terms of ingredients. It calls for the Maris Piper and Arran Victory varieties, both of which I’ve never even heard of. Plus I’ve never seen any grocer locally that plays any emphasis on potato varietals. So frozen store bought was what I used.
So why am I still writing this post ? The batter. I think that Chef Heston has come up with a great recipe and method that maintains its crispiness even in our obscenely humid climate. I liked it so much I decided to batter my chips as well. You do have to own a whipped cream charger or espuma though.